Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg
Universal Music Group
Hard/Retro Rock
12 songs (53:37)
Release year: 2009
Wolfmother, Universal Music Group
Reviewed by Goat

Frequent readers will know me to be a miserable and cynical being at the best of times, yet when faced with the cover art of Aussie Classic Rock revivalists Wolfmother's latest album, my brain seems to lock into its primordial stoner groove. After all, Dude, it's a giant, floating egg! However much I try, I just can't get that cover art out of my head whilst listening to the cannily-named Cosmic Egg, keeping that eerie hovering presence at the edge of my consciousness whilst I run through the album. Like many, the first time I heard of the band was thanks to Mike Patton and his ridicule of them in that infamous YouTube video, and whilst every particle of my body holds nothing but respect for the man, just because Wolfmother are about as original as an AC/DC cover band doesn't mean they can't be appreciated for what they are, right? After all, it's not like the Power or Death Metal genres typically are bastions of originality - we listen for the riffs and the melodies, and enjoy them for the music they play, whether they stole it all from Celtic Frost and Helloween or not.

So, let's get it out of the way, shall we? Wolfmother have not got an original bone in their body, and whilst I'll leave the search for the exact stolen moments to those nerdier than I, if you're into bands that your father likes - Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Hawkwind, and so on, then you'll have heard this music before. Although I can't quite shake my suspicion that the music here was written to outperform hateful wankshafts Jet in the songs-made-for-adverts stakes - apparently those corporate creators of shiny middle-class status-icons Apple have long been using snippets of Wolfmother to sell iPods - it's not hard to hear that Wolfmother are much better at the simple art of being enjoyable than Jet. Songwriting here is breezily catchy, as smooth and shiny as an oil slick, and even frontman Andrew Stockdale's vocals are less Indie-esque and offensive to Metallic ears than you'd think. Squint a little, or listen whilst less than sober, and you may even mistake this for something actually from the seventies.

Cosmic Egg is generally full of rocking songs, packed with riffs virtually guaranteed to make Josh Homme scowl as mainstream music journalists forget that Queens Of The Stone Age have been around since 1997 and fall over themselves to pronounce Classic Rock back in fashion, baby! For some, maybe, but it becomes harder to sell Wolfmother to an audience who have heard more than one Black Sabbath song and who generally listen to enough Metal to know that these guys barely register as Stoner Rock. Yet I suspect even you groovy guys and gals will be open-minded enough to get down with the opening speedy catchiness of California Queen, complete with mid-track Sabbath-y slowdown and wild soloing, as there's very little with it as a Rock n'Roll song. New Moon Rising sounds like Led Zeppelin with the chorus provided by Velvet Revolver, Sundial has a nice piano-enhanced stomp, In The Morning is a ballad with balls - the album is full of such three-to-five minute songs, seemingly designed specifically to massage those sections of your brain that appreciate music made before 1980.

Fine, so White Feather is rather Jet-sy, sounding like Wolfmother stole the DNA of The White Stripes and added it to their bodies in some weird effort to sound more like them, but the lengthy solo redeems it, and by the time 10,000 Feet's satisfying crunch comes along you'll most likely be enjoying yourself. The biggest argument you can make against Wolfmother is ultimately that they're posers and better bands have done exactly the same thing. Bigelf are far superior, for example. Yes, Cosmic Egg is repetitive, easy to get bored with and cynically aimed at the sort of people who think Muse are the last word in experimental music, yet it's far from the awful trash you'd naturally expect.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
California Queen, New Moon Rising, Sundial, 10,000 Feet, Cosmic Egg, Pilgrim
Goat quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Wolfmother that we have reviewed:
Wolfmother - Wolfmother reviewed by Jeff and quoted 90 / 100
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